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The Man Of Steel Moment That Confuses Superman Fans

It's been the better part of a decade since Man of Steel polarized moviegoers with its flat colors, crabby Kryptonians, and severely un-tornado-proof Kevin Costner. It lives on in the cultural consciousness as the Nicolas Cage of superhero movies: Nobody can agree on whether or not it's good, but it definitely makes its point.

In the years since its release, Man of Steel has offered fans and detractors plenty to discuss, like the way that a character generally portrayed as a stalwart force for righteousness was apparently a tactile learner when it came to the whole "no killing" thing. But we're not here to rehash old arguments or stale jokes. We're not even going to make a reference to that thing that happened during the production of Justice League.

Instead, we must pose a question: How did that guy tackle Clark to the ground when they were out on the fishing boat?

The scene in question takes place during one of Man of Steel's many, many, many messianic callback sequences. Clark, in a combination "wandering the wilderness in meditation"/"straight up being a fisherman" scene, notices that some detritus has fallen on the deck of the boat he's working on. Maybe this is the moment when Superman learns that litter is an eyesore, because he steps over to pick it up. At that moment, a fellow crewman notices that a steel cage is about to fall on the hapless Kansas buck, and body slams him out of the way.

Man of steel, legs of jelly

The question, of course, is "how could a fisherman, hardy and salt-of-the-earth though he might be, put Superman on his back?" Wouldn't that sort of feel like running headlong into the Rocky statue in Phillie? Wouldn't the end result of trying to tackle a Kryptonian out from under the path of falling debris be a concussion, followed by death under a pile of falling debris?

But let's not be negative Nancys. A problem is just a solution waiting to be uncovered. There are a couple of possible explanations.

A: The fisherman also had superpowers. This might sound like a stretch, but Zack Snyder has already confirmed that one of the characters in Man of Steel was secretly the shapeshifting Martian Manhunter the whole time. Maybe the enigmatic J'onn J'onzz spent his weekends disguised as a fisherman. Maybe he really liked cod.

B: The fisherman was decked out in some unseen anti-Kryptonian artifact. A kryptonite ankle bracelet, for example, or some sort of magic talisman, gifted to him by his new age college girlfriend who he claimed to have gotten over but still thought of fondly.

C: It takes a while to get your sea legs, no matter what planet you're from. It could be that Clark was just wobbly that day.

D: Superman had an inner ear infection.

E: It just wasn't a very well thought-out scene.

Meanwhile, contributors to Reddit's /r/AskScienceFiction forum have their own ideas. "Unless he's actively resisting he doesn't exactly weigh 100T. If he's holding up a building and you try to tackle him, you'll bounce off," one user explained. "When he is in 'Clark Kent' mode, he allows himself to be knocked into, bumped or whatever to keep the illusion up. But when he resists, or when he is actively utilising his abilities, you're not moving him unless you're a powerhouse yourself," chimed in another. 

And just like that, nobody ever argued about Superman's powers again.